August 22, 2012 8:02 AM   Subscribe

It's time to play "Name That Book/Story Based on a Few Maddeningly Vague Details, Sci-Fi Edition".

I remember reading a section of either a book or (I believe) a short story in my junior high school's library. This was circa 1995, but as the school had basically NO money, I think the book in question may've been much older (anywhere from the 60's to the 80's). Here's everything I remember:

- My gut tells me it was a short story in a collection.
- Female protagonist, human (or humanoid), visiting a place where all of the inhabitants are non-human.
- I wanna say that the inhabitants may've been ape-like?
- Main relevant detail: individual inhabitants of this place occasionally begin emitting a pleasant smell and acting all blissful. The "change" they're going through is seen as a good thing. Eventually, the human female determines that these are signs of the beings' imminent death. She gets upset and tries to convince THEM to get upset, but their culture doesn't view it as a bad thing.

Ring any bells?
posted by julthumbscrew to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You might ask this in the most recent Open Thread at Making Light.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:37 AM on August 22, 2012

Could it have been something by Andre Norton?
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:53 AM on August 22, 2012

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